Initialization of Iterative-Based Speaker Diarization Systems for Telephone Conversations

Oshry Ben-Harush, Ortal Ben-Harush, Hugo Guterman, Itshak Lapidot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Speaker diarization systems attempt to assign temporal segments from a conversation between R speakers to an appropriate speaker r. This task is generally performed when no prior information is given regarding the speakers. The number of speakers is usually unknown and needs to be estimated. However, there are applications where the number of speakers is known in advance. The diarization process generally consists of change detection, clustering and labeling of a given audio stream. Speaker diarization can be performed using an iterative approach that is optimized by the selection of appropriate initial conditions. This study examines the influence of several common initialization algorithms including two variants of a recently proposed, K-means based initialization algorithm over the performance of an iterative-based speaker diarization system applied to two speaker telephone conversations. The suggested speaker diarization system employs either self organizing maps or Gaussian mixture models in order to model the speakers and non-speech in the conversation. The diarization system and initialization algorithms are tuned using 108 telephone conversations taken from LDC CallHome corpus, this is the development set. The evaluation subset is composed of 2048 telephone conversations extracted from the NIST 2005 Rich Transcription corpus. The results obtained show that by initializing the speaker diarization system using the K-means based algorithms provide a relative improvement of 10.4% for the LDC development set and 12.2% for the NIST evaluation subset when compared to random initialization after 12 iterations which are required for the convergence of the diarization process using random initialization. However, when using the K-means based initialization approach, only five iterations are required for the system to converge. Thus, using the new initialization allows us to improve the performances both in terms of diarization error rate and speed of convergence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-425
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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